Where are the science heroes?

Re: "Wanted: Scientific Heroes."1 If you consider the way Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan, not to mention Linus Pauling and Rachel Carson, were trashed by scientists, the scientific establishment, and the science academies when they stepped into the public domain as "scientific heroes" it is not at all surprising why there are no scientific heroes.It's distressing to see that scientists do not fare well in the public's ranking of the greatest Americans.1 Some deceased scientists are remarkable role

Victor Hruby(hruby@u.arizona.edu)
Sep 11, 2005

Re: "Wanted: Scientific Heroes."1 If you consider the way Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan, not to mention Linus Pauling and Rachel Carson, were trashed by scientists, the scientific establishment, and the science academies when they stepped into the public domain as "scientific heroes" it is not at all surprising why there are no scientific heroes.

It's distressing to see that scientists do not fare well in the public's ranking of the greatest Americans.1 Some deceased scientists are remarkable role models whose achievements have faded from public consciousness. Take, for example, double Nobel Prize winner (Chemistry, 1954, and Peace, 1962) and humanitarian Linus Pauling. Credited with revolutionizing chemistry by elucidating the nature of the chemical bond and as the major founder of molecular biology and molecular medicine for his discoveries of protein structure and the cause of sickle-cell anemia, Pauling is mainly remembered by the public as the chief advocate for vitamin C. Despite accolades in Nature2 that proclaimed him, along with Einstein, Galileo, Newton, and Da Vinci, as one of the greatest thinkers and visionaries of the millennium, Pauling did not make the recent list of the 100 greatest Americans. An exhibition on Pauling's life debuted in 1998 and was visited by over one million people at 19 venues around the world. Perhaps other great American scientists should be similarly celebrated.